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Sarasota Police Department
Sarasota Police Department

Sarasota Police Department Communications Specialist


Full Time


Sarasota, FL
September 20, 2022
$55,328.00 - $70,553.60 Annually
September 26, 2022

Job Description

To provide advanced support to the Sarasota Police Public Information Officer. Acts as media liaison, generating content for social media platforms (including photos, videos, and infographics), and disseminating information to the community. The work contributes substantially to the efficiency and effectiveness of City’s communications objectives.


To provide advanced support to the Senior Communications Manager. Acts as media liaison producing newsletters, generating content for social media platforms (including photos, videos and infographics), and disseminating information to the community. The work contributes substantially to the efficiency and effectiveness of City’s communications objectives.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Prior public information or media experience in Law Enforcement and/or local government reporting
  • Experience in print or electronic media or public relations
  • Ability to work in a time-sensitive but highly confidential environment
  • Knowledge of Sarasota Community
  • Ability to work nights and weekends and be on-call
  • Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite

Physical Requirements

This is light work usually performed in an office environment and requires no unusual physical demands.  Visual acuity is required for reviewing and maintaining computer and written files, and for observing civic meetings and activities.  Incumbent is required to have sufficient hearing ability to perceive information at normal spoken word levels.  Manual dexterity to operate standard office computer, still camera, and other equipment is required.

New Retirement Benefit

The City of Sarasota made the transition to become a Florida Retirement System (FRS) employer effective December 1, 2021. Most new employees with the City on or after that date will become compulsory members of FRS. To learn more about what this benefit may mean for you, please visit Please note that if you are hired to work for the City of Sarasota as an FRS employer, you will be asked to complete a form(Download PDF reader) to certify your FRS status, as there may be an impact to any FRS benefit you are already receiving.

Essential Functions

  • Coordinates with the  Senior Communications Manager in meeting the City’s communications, public information, community outreach and marketing objectives.
  • Contributes to  the development of communications plans to support both short- and long-range organizational objectives.
  • Gathers information, writes news releases and disseminates news releases to media outlets and residents; posts news releases to website and social media.
  • Responds to requests for information from the media via a variety of methods including email, phone calls, text messages, and social media.
  • Proactively pitches news stories to media outlets.
  • Cultivates strong working relationships with local media representatives.
  • Reviews news stories for content accuracy.
  • Participates in  media relations efforts in emergency situations.
  • Responds to media inquiries and unexpected situations that require community outreach at varying days and times.
  • Prepares staff members for media interviews and provides interviews.
  • Coordinates news conferences including recording and posting to social media channels.
  • Assists with the production of a multi-media e-newsletter.
  • Develops, or assists in the development of, communication materials across multiple departments.
  • Develops content (including photos, videos, infographics) and administers social media platforms to engage residents and disseminate information about City activities and programs.
  • Generates still photos and coordinates archives.
  • The intent of this class description is to provide a representative summary of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of classifications given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position.  Incumbent may be required to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this job description.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in communications, public relations, journalism or other related field;
  • Two (2) years’ experience working in journalism and/or government communications with interaction with media outlets and social media platforms.

Job Based Competencies

  • Knowledge of the principles of local government.
  • Knowledge of current principles, practices and procedures of communication, news gathering and social media.
  • Strong, accurate writer
  • Knowledge of the Associated Press Stylebook.
  • Ability to effectively communicate, both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to work independently, with minimum supervisory direction.
  • Ability to distill complex information under strict deadlines and write in a clear, concise manner.
  • Ability to produce and edit high quality video content from conception to posting on social media platforms.
  • Ability to multitask.
  • Ability to keep records and prepare reports.
  • Ability to determine appropriate opportunities to reach target audiences.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective and positive interpersonal communication with all.
  • Computer experience including Microsoft applications, video editing, and photo editing is necessary.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, to be on call, and to work weekends/holidays on a rotational basis using a team approach for coverage.
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